CBD becomes one of the most sought-after natural alternatives to conventional treatments for a wide range of health concerns. People are using CBD oil for different reasons, from sheer supplementation to serious deficits in their well-being. For many consumers, CBD oil reduces stress, while others take it to improve their quality of sleep, regulate mood, and improve productivity. However, the skyrocketing popularity of CBD has created ripe opportunities for fly-by-night companies to take advantage of unaware consumers — it’s difficult to distinguish between a good and bad CBD product if you don’t know what to look for. The amount of information scattered around different sources may seem confusing and overwhelming, so we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to buying CBD oil so that you can make a well-informed decision about your next purchase. You’ll learn:
- What CBD is
- How CBD interacts with the body and brain
- How to choose the best delivery method for your need
- What to look for in a high-quality CBD product
- Why third-party lab testing is the only quality proof of your CBD oil
What is CBD?CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Unlike its psychoactive cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD won’t get you high because it doesn’t affect your cannabinoid receptors in the brain like THC does. CBD is safe and legal in most countries across the world. Even the WHO has acknowledged its safety profile in their official report from 2017. So basically, CBD allows for enjoying the health benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive side.
How does CBD interact with the Body and Brain?In simple terms, CBD and other cannabinoids are processed through the body’s native endocannabinoid system. This system is arguably the most important neurochemical network in all mammals; it’s responsible for regulating the majority of vital functions like appetite, sleep, fertility, mood, cognition, temperature control, pain signaling, and immune response. The endocannabinoid system keeps the above processes in a state of harmony, allowing us to stay healthy. A properly functioning endocannabinoid system is crucial for our optimal performance, but its naturally produced molecules (endocannabinoids) aren’t produced in concentrations large enough — and for enough time — to cope with your health problems on their own. Hence the use of CBD and other cannabinoids. CBD supports the endocannabinoid system through adjusting it to produce more of its endocannabinoids and maintain their higher levels by blocking an enzyme that breaks them down. Prolonged use of CBD has been linked to many health benefits in the areas where conventional forms of treatment have failed to deliver the desired effects, according to studies on both animals and humans.
Things to Consider Before Buying CBD OilUsing CBD oil requires a better understanding of how we react to cannabinoids. And the truth is, everybody reacts differently. Some people find CBD oil more energizing, whereas others claim it makes them feel drowsy. High and low doses of the same product can produce different effects, and the route of administration matters as well. With that in mind, here are the most important things to take into account before buying CBD oil.
1. Route of AdministrationCBD is available in many forms, including oil, paste, vape liquids, edibles, capsules, and topicals. The choice of consumption method is largely dependent on your needs, but remember that the bioavailability (absorption rate) varies from product to product. For example oral CBD products show 4–20% bioavailability; with tinctures, this figure reaches 35%; vapes are the most bioavailable products so far, with absorption rates reaching 56% in some studies. Each delivery method has a different onset. The effects of vaping usually take hold within a few minutes; tinctures kick in after about 20 minutes; edibles, in turn, may take anywhere between 40–120 minutes to produce their effects.
2. Desired EffectsYour reason for taking CBD will determine the choice of your product. Lower doses usually work better when it comes to relieving stress and maintaining focus, while those struggling with poor sleep quality, aches, and different types of physical discomfort find higher doses more effective.
3. Full Spectrum vs. IsolatesThere are two main types of CBD products: full-spectrum extracts and isolates. The “full spectrum” term refers to extracts produced from the whole cannabis plant. On top of CBD, they contain terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids including traces of THC (usually less than 0.3%). According to experts in cannabinoids, full-spectrum extracts are superior to isolated compounds because they produce “the entourage effect.” The entourage effect refers to the synergistic effects of cannabinoids and terpenes. Simply put, cannabis compounds are more effective together than in isolation, mostly when it comes to their anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and pain killing properties. In addition, some cannabinoids can also modulate the effects of each other. For example, CBD is known for countering the psychoactive effects of THC while boosting its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. THC, on the other hand, is believed to unlock the entire potential of cannabinoids at as little as 1%.
The health benefits of the main cannabinoids in hemp:
- CBD — Stimulates bone growth and improves their density. Reduces convulsion. Regulates blood sugar. Boosts immune function. Reduces nausea and vomiting. Dampens pain signaling. Protects neurons. Stops tumor cell growth. Acts as an antibacterial
- CBDa — Reduces cell cancer growth and lowers inflammation
- CBC — Stops the spread of cancer cells. Promotes bone growth. Lowers inflammation. Dampens pain.
- CBN — Acts as a strong sedative. It’s a byproduct of THC’s degradation over time.
- CBG — Relieves stress and anxiety. Acts as an antibacterial. Reduces pain. Muscle relaxant
The health benefits of the main terpenes in hemp
- Myrcene — Promotes sleep. Sedative and muscle relaxant.
- Limonene — Helps with gastrointestinal issues. Relieves anxiety and stress.
- Pinene — Reduces inflammation and bacteria growth. Aids memory. Improves focus.
- Linalool — Analgesic. Reduces anxiety. Promotes sleep. Anti-convulsive.
- Terpinolene — Reduces pain and aids digestion.
- Humulene — Lowers inflammation.
- Terpineol — Calming. Antiviral and antibacterial.
- Caryophyllene — Dampens pain. Boosts the immune system.
How to Buy CBD Oil for BeginnersNo two CBD oil products are made the same. There are lots of poorly-manufactured CBD oils on the market, so it’s important that you know what to look for when choosing your next vendor. Pay attention to the following:
- The source of CBD (is it hemp or marijuana?)
- The source of hemp
- Extraction method
- The potency of your product
- The cannabinoid spectrum
- Third-party testing
- Shipping & return policy